A common misconception amongst parents is that there little to no difference between a general dentist and a Pediatric Dentist. General dentists are qualified to treat and take care of routine dental care for children and adults, while pediatric dentistry is a subsection of involving the treatment of infants through adolescence. Pediatric dentistry differs greatly from adult dentistry because pediatric dentists have been specifically trained to deal with growing teeth and their particular needs, as well as the developing minds of children.
While all dentists receive adequate training in teeth and oral care, pediatric dentists receive an additional two to three years of training and experience to cater to the needs of infants and children, and often times special needs children.
As a licensed dental specialty, pediatric dentists are required to complete two additional years of post-doctoral training accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (ADA). These programs are designed to provide special knowledge and skills beyond DDS or DMD training.
This focuses on the special needs and concerns of child patients. During this residency the specialist works with not only with children and infants, but also special needs patient. In the U.S today, there are board certifications for these practitioners, as well as state specific specialty licenses in order for a dentist to represent her/himself specifically as a pediatric dentist.
This specific type of care involves the knowledge and experience managing infants to children with special needs. Pediatric dentistry relies on a wide range of disciplines, techniques, procedures and specific skills. Pediatric dentistry is modified and adapted to meet the needs of children and children with special health care needs.